When we are starting a new futures thinking project, or meeting with a group to talk about the future, the Future Four-Square game proposed by the Institute for the Future is the perfect way to see where people stand. Are we worried about the future? Are we hopeful? Do we have ideas for actions they can take, today, to make the future better?
The results of the game can also suggest which type of futures thinking will be most helpful to you and your group to increase your ability to actively shape and change the future.
How to play this game?
- Pick a future topic (such as the future of learning, the future of civic engagement, the future of careers)
- When you think about your chosen Future topic: on a scale of 1 to 10, do you think it’s getting better or worse? Right now, overall, is this future headed in a better direction, or a worse one? (10 is much better, 1 is much worse).
- When you think about the same Future topic: on a scale from 1 to 10, how much power do YOU personally have to shape or influence that future, and help decide whether it gets better or worse? (10 is a lot of power, 1 is no power).
Based on your results, explore what futures thinking skills you may want to develop further. Download slides with four types of futures thinking.
The Network of Cities of Learning offers this learning activity within the capacity-building project ‘Youth co-design learning, civic and career pathways’. We are grateful to the EU’s Erasmus+ Programme for co-funding support for this project.